Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Support US efforts to get Israelis & Palestinians negotiating again

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges us to support Administration efforts to get Israelis & Palestinians negotiating again

Last week the White House was inundated with emails from Christian Zionists after the Administration criticized Israel for announcing the approval of a plan to build 1,600 apartments in an east Jerusalem neighborhood.

You have a unique voice, one of moderation and compassion for the dignity of every human being. The White House and Congress need to hear from you so they know you appreciate their efforts to hold both sides accountable. Only a balanced approach will enable the US to guide both parties to peace.

The need to resume meaningful negotiations to achieve a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is more urgent than ever.

Just last week, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, General Petraeus, Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), said, "The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR (area of responsibility)… Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas."

Tell your Representative that, as a Christian, you appreciate the Administration's efforts to encourage both parties to get serious about meaningful negotiations. Please take action at http://www.cmep.org/, click “Urgent Action Needed.”

Ask President Obama to Press Israel for End of Gaza Blockade.

Get friends at church, coworkers, and any other colleagues for peace to make their voices heard!

So far, over 1200 new and long time CMEP supporters have signed the petition to President Obama asking him to work on behalf of Gaza's civilians and end the humanitarian crisis by using "America's unique relationship with Israel to persuade it to lift the closure of its border crossing with Gaza now." Even more are needed to demand an end to the Gaza blockade.

Sent in early February, the letter was signed by leaders of seven organizations representing U.S. Arab, Jewish, and Christian constituencies: Americans for Peace Now, Arab American Institute, B’Tselem USA, Churches for Middle East Peace, Foundation for Middle East Peace, J Street, and Rabbis for Human Rights—North America.

To print a copy of the letter and a paper petition, go to http://www.cmep.org/ and click “Get your friends at church...”, then gather signatures from congregation, work, committee meetings, on the street, or wherever else friends of peace are. Your efforts will strengthen our common voice and help Gazans.

If you have not yet done so, take action yourself now! Deadline is Good Friday, April 2. Go to http://www.cmep.org/ and click “ACTION ALERT: Ask President Obama...”

Time to register for CMEP Conference, June 13-15

Pursuing Peace Together: Working for Reconciliation in the Holy Land. You are invited to CMEP's 2010 Advocacy Conference to learn, increase your skills, network and advocate for peace with justice in the Holy Land. The conference is June 13-15, 2010, at the Kellogg Conference Hotel in Washington, DC.

Psalm 34:14 and 1 Peter 3:11—"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it"—inspires our conference theme. This Hebrew Bible and New Testament command to action are at the heart of what CMEP does in promoting the right of people in the Holy Land to live in peace and security, free of fears of harassment, oppression, and violence. The conference will provide knowledge, skills and networking links for every participant to pursue peace on Capitol Hill and at home.

Registration is now open online by credit card and by check. For details on registration rates, accommodations, speakers, directions, and other conference information, go to http://www.cmep.org/, click on Conference Registration Now Open.

US Reps Will Be Visited by Constituents on Israel/Palestine Peace Agenda.

Churches for Middle East Peace is organizing meetings with Congresspersons for a conversation during the time they are in home districts—two weeks, starting March 29.

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To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, go the the blog: A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace: http://www.blogspot.voicesforpeace.com/

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